Heckler & Koch may be making and delivering thousands of M27 infantry automatic rifles to the Marine Corps, but that's not going to stop the company from taking a few jabs at jarheads.
The U.S. branch of the German weapons maker is executing a contract, inked in April 2018, to deliver up to 15,000 M27s to the Marine Corps. The rifles, previously fielded in smaller quantities to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, are now replacing M4 carbines for many infantry Marines.
Most Marines love the fully automatic, more accurate M27. But the feeling may not be completely mutual, judging from a post Tuesday on the H&K Facebook page.
"A fresh batch of M27 rifles leaving Georgia headed to the Devil Dogs," the post read, alongside photographs of rows of the guns ready for shipping. "If any of you crayon eaters are reading this, please treat them nice, even though we built them to be Marine proof."
In fewer than 24 hours, the post went viral, with more than 19,000 shares and 26,000 reactions. The author of the post, who identified herself as "Social Media Girl," returned multiple times to pile on in the comments section.
"FYI, this was not a challenge to try to break them, we know reading comprehension is [not] a strong suit," she wrote later.
Others, picking up on the cherished stereotype of Marines as tough but none-too-smart crayon-eaters, added their own takes.
"As a Marine veteran, I can't read what that said, but looked at the picture," one commenter wrote.
H&K's social media wisecracker had a comeback ready.
"We wrote out a training manual that used no words over 6 letters, we were told we didn't use enough pictures," she wrote. "By the time we submitted a manual that was approved, it was literally nothing but pictures ..."
As the post picked up steam hours after publication, Social Media Girl voiced tongue-in-cheek worries that she would be "pulled into a meeting" for ragging on Marines.
Later, though, she said her bosses were in total support of her sentiments "right up until the Commandant calls us and says that hundreds of M27 rifles have been drug behind jets, thrown out of helicopters and ran over by tanks by a bunch of leathernecks trying to prove a point."
H&K did not immediately respond to an emailed question from Military.com on Wednesday.
It's clear, though, that Marines don't mind a bit of friendly abuse -- as long as they can train and fight with high-quality weapons.
"[The M27 is] the best infantry rifle in the world, hands down," then-Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade told Military.com in 2016. "Better than anything Russia has, it's better than anything we have, it's better than anything China has. It's world-class."